During October, Women in Small Business Month celebrates the creativity of female business owners
Latin Business Today will be publishing a series of articles by authors in recognition of Women in Small Business Month, including:
Confidence is Key for Women in Business
by Andrea Cotter,a Latin Business Today- Trends & Insights mentor. Fearlessness and knowing when to ask for help can aid women in building a business. 5 simple rules can help women capitalize on their strengths to successfully lead businesses.
Small business is the cornerstone of the American identity, and, while the overall trend for Hispanic business owners has been difficult with the current economic situation, the number of women small business owners has grown consistently. It is this creative spirit that we celebrate during Women in Small Business Month in October.
Women-Owned Businesses Are More Nimble, Creative
According to the Director for the Louisiana Small Business Development Center, Bill Joubert, small businesses owned by women tend to be better suited to the current economic climate:
- Startup growth for women-owned businesses is 40-45 percent faster than for male-owned businesses.
- Women tend to invest less than men in their startups.
- Women take out an average of $20,000 to $50,000 in loans to start a business, whereas men tend to require on average closer to $1 million.
This is something Hispanic business owners and entrepreneurs, both men and women, should take into account. In this economy, capital is very tight. It is more difficult to get a large loan from a bank, and those who are passionate about starting their own company need to be able to make a little stretch a long way. Women are leading the way in this new paradigm.
Why Are Women So Successful?
Here are some important facts to keep in mind when thinking about the success of women in U.S. small business:
- It has not even been 100 years since women in the United States received the right to vote.
- It has been even shorter since the massive cultural shift in the 1960s, 70s and 80s that saw women take charge of their professional lives.
- Women now employ 40 percent more people than the top three U.S. employers: McDonald's, Wal-Mart and IBM.
- Women-owned businesses employ 7.7 million people.
- Between 1997 and 2007, women-owned companies grew at a rate of 44 percent, which was twice the rate of male-owned companies.
- Nearly 30 percent of all businesses are owned by women.
- Just 25 years ago, only 10 percent of businesses were owned by women, and 25 years before that, the number was negligible.
The business model of women-owned businesses tends to be focused on networking and outreach rather than massive capital investment. The numbers suggest this, with male-owned businesses typically bringing in more money in revenue.
About the author
Andrea Cotter, President and Founder, ACotter Global Brands. Andrea coaches executives and teams helping them to put in place strategies and communications that will take them to the next level. She is also an Adjunct Professor of Strategic Communication at the NYU School of Continuing and Professional Studies.
During a 30-year career at IBM Corporation, Andrea Cotter held many integrated marketing and communications roles for various IBM products and services and executive roles as Global Director of Linux and of Healthcare and Life Science Marketing. At UPMC in Pittsburgh, PA, Andrea was SVP of Communications, responsible for enterprise-wide brand marketing, advertising, clinical marketing and public relations. Most recently Andrea served as temporary President of a brand consultancy in New York, New York.